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Various-Composers Guild of New Jersey Vibraphone Commission (12 works/CD)

Model: 1270

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Score with CD of Electronic Portion; Includes the following Solos: A Giddy Thing by William Anderson; Concertino Piccolino by Milton Babbitt; Fishdream by Chi Shing Kung; Sonorities VI by Patrick Hardish; Nightdream of Germinated Rice by R...
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Various-Composers Guild of New Jersey Vibraphone Commission (12 works/CD) - Product Information

Score with CD of Electronic Portion; Includes the following Solos: A Giddy Thing by William Anderson; Concertino Piccolino by Milton Babbitt; Fishdream by Chi Shing Kung; Sonorities VI by Patrick Hardish; Nightdream of Germinated Rice by Rashid Kalimoullin; Rainsticks by Arthur Kreiger; Noncombinatorial Combinatoria by Eugene Lee; Bar Hopping by John Link; Masked Dances by Ron Mazurek; Adagio by Robert Moevs; Metaphor for Vibraphone by Robert Pollock; Chaconne by Peter Westergaard

Program Notes:

A Giddy Thing. My idea of giddiness is that it is a fundamentally musical quality, particularly in the sense of the word as used by Shakespeare through his character Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. The piece makes more associations with Beatrice and Benedict that I'd like the players and listeners to puzzle-out on their own.
My great thanks to the Composers Guild of New Jersey and to Peter Jarvis, to whom this piece is dedicated. - William Anderson

The title Concerto Piccolino should suggest one of the more pervasive and manifest properties of the relatively short composition. The progression of "macrophrases" in what may be viewed or-better-heard as alternations of "solo" and "ripieno", differentiated dynamically, registerally, and texturally. The work was completed in October 1999, and is dedicated to Peter Jarvis and the Composers Guild of New Jersey. - Milton Babbitt

Sonorities VI (1998) for vibraphone was commissioned by the Composers Guild of New Jersey and composed for Peter Jarvis. It is part of a series of works for solo instruments called "Sonorities" where my main objectives are to showcase the technical ability of the virtuoso performer using a modern vocabulary particularly in regards to color and timbre. Coloristic devise in this piece include the uses of motor fan (tremolo effect) on slow, medium, and fast, turning the motor on and off, glissandi, and playing with or without the pedal. - Patrick Hardish

Night dream of Germinated Rice is a composition for vibraphone and tape. It was written in the year 2000 under impression of a trip to Japan. The audience can create various pictures of exotic rice fields of Japan, which at the same time creates an idea of historical past of the country of rising sun, of spiritual searching of people. - Rashid Kalimoullin

My sister-in-law, Judith, a kindergarten teacher by trade, is a collector. Her home is filled with sundry items that are gathered and invitingly displayed in a manner resembling the enticing play stations of an open classroom. Three of her collections are of special interest to me: a jungle of exotic, as well as familiar, house plants; an array of kaleidoscopes each hosting its own particular dazzle; and a pair of rainsticks. A rainstick is a percussion instrument native, some say, to cultures in both Africa and South America. Its shape is essentially a hollow wooden tube into which sharp thorns have been pressed. Pebbles or dried seeds in such great number rebound off the thorns to produce the dense, asymmetrical patter of a gentle rainstorm. Judi's rainsticks were sampled early on in the realization of the electronic portion of this composition for vibraphone and electronic tape. The sound, one among many, appears in various guises.
Generously commissioned by the Composers Guild of New Jersey, Rainsticks is happily dedicated to the distinguished Peter Jarvis. The piece has a flamboyant, energetic aspect that requires a percussionist of considerable skill and verve. The tape, created in the composer's home computer/MIDI studio, utilizes sounds of musique concrete and electronic origin. The torrential, turbulent flow of sticking found at the close of the composition evokes the work's title. - Arthur Kreiger

My experience with gamelan music is simply a sensory one; I know very little about its aesthetics or theory, but the music has affected my compositions greatly. I am deeply attracted to its bell-like sonority and the constant motion of the music. Fishdream is a tribute to that aural memory, which began in the early 1980s when I first encountered gamelan music at the University of Hawaii, where I was a composition student. Fishdream has no beginning or ending; the performer is encouraged to discover the small interlocking patterns within the music. This composition is dedicated to Peter Jarvis, a musician whose professionalism I greatly admire. - Kung Chi Shing

Noncombinatorial Combinatoria for solo vibraphone, commissioned by the Composers Guild of New Jersey, was composed in 1999.
Prominent in traditional Korean music is the exploration of the articulatory and vibratory characteristics of instruments as well as the inflection of pitch, timbre and intensity. Noncombinatorial Combinatoria transforms this traditional method of Korean instrumental playing in a single movement for vibraphone; a movement with its own specific dramatic expression that attempts to transfigure the old tradition into a living performance. - Eugene Lee

Bar Hopping was commissioned by the Composers Guild of New Jersey. It is a short scherzando movement for solo vibraphone based on an irregular pattern of slowly chiming intervals. At the beginning, and occasionally later on, these intervals are heard by themselves, but for the most part they are woven into a variety of more elaborate textures, all based on a family of voicings of a single seven-note chord. Although the form of the piece is quite free, in its broadest outlines the music moves from a fast opening (preceded by a slow introduction), to a central slow section, to a lively conclusion, as the materials of the composition become more and more condensed. - John Link

Masked Dances consists of four short continuous dances as incidental music to one of W. B. Yeats' plays entitled Calvary. In the performance of the story all the characters were to wear masks or have their faces made up to resemble masks including the musicians. This seems to have served as a ritual element in expressing the emotions of the characters in the play. Each of the four dances incorporates electronic elements that create rhythmic dialogues with the vibraphone. There are several brief interludes separating each dance, which then lead into varying rhythmic elements, which define each of the four dances. - Ron Mazurek

Adagio is the latest incarnation of a musical thought that has been in the mind of the composer for many years. Commissioned by the Composers Guild of New Jersey and dedicated to Peter Jarvis, Adagio is part of a collection of solo vibraphone pieces commissioned by the CGNJ. - Robert Moevs

Metaphor for Vibraphone (1998) is dedicated to Peter Jarvis as part of CGNJ vibraphone project. It is one movement about seven minutes long. I had thought of using a Schenker quote at the beginning of the score: "All foreground is diminution." But it seemed superfluous since the music in its slow and stately beginning, 'sets the stage' for a series of more rapidly moving episodes all based on the opening. The opposite expression, "all background is augmentation," suggests to me that simply slowing down fast music is not a satisfying surface phenomenon. Rather, such a process reveals to the listener structural elements of a piece rather than smoothly flowing music. Commissioned by the Composers Guild of New Jersey. - Robert Pollock

I hope my appropriation of the title of the final movement of Bach's Second Partita for solo violin (BWV 1004) will be understood as an act of homage rather than chutzpa. After all, the general intent of all the composers involved in this project is much like Bach's in writing the solo-string sonatas and partitas: to create a solo literature for an instrument that has become a staple of the ensemble literature of our time. And my own particular intent, like Bach's, is to maintain the same depth of polyphonic design in a piece for an instrument that usually plays only one note at a time that I would in an ensemble piece. (The fact that the dialect is that of Vienna, not Co 'then, gives some sense of the origins of my kind of polyphony. If you don't know how the quote continues, don't worry: all you're missing is a bad pun.) As for obvious resemblances between this chaconne and its predecessors---Bach's included---there are a few. The meter is the traditional triple one, and there are clearly defined eight-measure units. Each measure in the unit uses the same rhythmic pattern, and the number of attacks in the pattern progresses from few (one in the first eight-bar unit) to many (two, three, four, six, and eight) only to revert to few and build all over again. There is, however, no one bass line or series of chords that forms the basis for each eight-measure unit. Rather, all the lines and all the chords are the result of combinations of four closely related tetrachords. - Peter Westergaard

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